Karen Reissmann plumps for out of court settlement

A mental health nurse who was sacked for gross misconduct after speaking to the media has abandoned her employment tribunal for unfair dismissal in favour of an out-of-court settlement.

Karen Reissmann was first suspended in July 2007 by the Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust for her outspoken criticism of the transfer of NHS services to the voluntary sector.

She was dismissed the following November for allegedly giving a further interview on the situation in her capacity as a trust employee rather than her role as chair of the local branch of Unison.

Her dismissal led to a series of strikes by union colleagues who campaigned on her behalf. This included support from several MPs who signed an early day motion proposed by her MP John Leech.

Reissmann brought a challenge against her dismissal to the Manchester employment tribunal, which started its hearings on 26 January. But despite having previously insisted that she wanted to prove her case, Reissmann chose to end proceedings after just three days of deliberation and has given no indication of the settlement.

Gross misconduct

A statement issued by the trust read: “Karen Reissmann was dismissed by Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust for gross misconduct for matters unrelated to clinical practice.

“The parties are satisfied that the dispute between them has been resolved and the employment tribunal proceedings are at an end, by agreement being reached to their mutual satisfaction. No further comment will be made by either party in this matter.”

It has been reported that Reissmann will not be returning to her former employment at the trust.

Former trust chief executive Sheila Foley, who gave evidence against Reissmann at the tribunal, resigned from her post in July last year after receiving advance warning of a report severely criticising the trust’s performance and leadership.

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